Wild horses under the bonnet


First appearing in 1964, the Ford Mustang led the pack in terms of style and performance with American muscle cars. The design eventually flowing into the design of our locally produced Ford Falcons and impacting on the design of many cars since.

There are still a few around from this era, preserved and revered by all and sundry.

Even in Shepparton, local identity Sam Rachele and his son currently have two in their stable. A black ‘65 GT and a white ‘65 Shelby Tribute.

The GT has been fitted with a Paxton supercharger and after work done by Greg Maskell, is pumping out 370HP from the 289 cubic inch motor. The Shelby Tribute has a 351 cubic inch motor that has been left in original format pumping out a modest 400HP.

When Sam purchased the cars, he had the machines reworked and detailed to their current pristine condition. Neil Collins, a local auto electrician worked on the wiring and airconditioning, Joe Rachele, a local mechanic went over each vehicle with a fine tooth comb and planned out the work that they needed while Cameron Scorey detailed both of them.

The project design team leader for the Mustang, Joe Oros said, “I told the team that I wanted the car to appeal to women, but I wanted men to desire it, too. I wanted a Ferrari-like front end, the motif centered on the front — something heavy-looking like a Maseratti [sic], but, please, not a trident — and I wanted air intakes on the side to cool the rear brakes. I said it should be as sporty as possible and look like it was related to European design.”

The Mustang design team certainly succeeded.